Made $650 On The Junk Car

by golbguru on July 15, 2007

Earlier, on one of my recent car-whining post about my old Nissan, a reader (Chris) left this comment:

Don’t tow it to a junkyard – donate it. There are lots of charities that’ll want it, even if it’s not running. They’ll come tow it away and initiate all of the paperwork on your behalf. A “junker” will be auctioned to a junker lot, and you will receive a tax receipt for the proceeds. It likely won’t be much, but it’d be more than simply towing it to a junk yard (many of which will charge you for the tow).

At that time, I liked the idea of donating it to charity and did research on the subject. Here are a few (of many) sources you can approach to have your car donated:

  • Car condition: It’s ok if the car is totalled and/or not working, but it should have all the major components - for example, cars without engine will not be towed.
  • Towing costs: Free
  • Tax Deductible Donation: Yes
  • Service availability: Nationwide
  • Phone number: 1-888-511-5865

Teddy Bear Cops

  • Car condition: You need to get in touch with them through this form and make sure they are ready to pick up your car.
  • Towing costs: Free
  • Tax Deductible Donation: Yes
  • Service availability: Does not pick up in Mississippi, Florida and Iowa.
  • Phone number: Not listed

Kars 4 Kids

  • Car condition: Working or not working. However, there is a small clause on the website that says “exceptions include older cars whose value would not offset the cost of towing”. So call them up and see if they would be interested in your car.
  • Towing costs: Free
  • Tax Deductible Donation: Yes
  • Service availability: Nationwide
  • Phone number: 1-877-527-7454

Then there are others that tow your car for free but do not give you any compensation for the value of the car. Here is an example.

Junk My Car

  • Car condition: It’s ok if the car is totalled and/or not working. They will accept it even if it’s missing some major components.
  • Towing costs: Free
  • Tax Deductible Donation: No
  • Service availability: Nationwide
  • Phone number: 1-877-586-5692

You MUST provide all these guys with a valid ownership title for your car - otherwise they won’t pick it up. So if you are thinking about making money by having your neighbor’s junker towed away, it’s not going to work. :)

Anyways, after going through all the information, I thought over donating my car, but didn’t have the patience to wait till the next tax season to get the benefits (nor the patience to wait until someone decided whether my car is worth towing or not). So, I called up a few junk yards in our area to see what they can do and one of them (which operates along the lines of this organization) offered $650 (to be paid on-the-spot) for my car … plus free towing! The sound of the quick $650 made me give up (sadly) any noble thoughts of donating the car to charity.

The deal was pretty sweet because I was not *expecting* anything for the car and just wanted someone to tow it away for free. The amount they paid me was in spite of the fact that the Nissan had a salvage-rebuilt title, had really *bad* paint on it, had suffered some damage on the trunk lid and rear bumper, and was hardly working (the engine cranked to life, but it wouldn’t run for more than 2 minutes at a stretch; the only other things that worked were the headlights and the brakes). I had earlier estimated the market price of the car between $1800 to $2000 - but I had appraised it as a clean vehicle (with a clean title) at that time. With the kind of repairs it was needing, and with it’s salvage title, I think $650 was a fair price to get for it.

I am not sure what will happen to that car after this, but from what I was told, it will be dismantled and the individual components will be sold to interested parties - people who rebuild salvaged vehicles. I just hope they don’t *repair* that car and sell it to some unsuspecting poor guy (without disclosing the vehicle history).

So, if you want to get rid of the junk car, and are more interested in the monetary aspect than the charity aspect, I suggest you spend a few minutes on the phone and the internet and locate a few junk yards in your area. If they won’t buy your car, at least they will lead you to people who might be interested. Btw, you can try this option even if your car is in working condition; you could probably get more money this way than what you will get if you trade it in for a newer car.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Super Saver 07.15.07 at 5:10 pm


It seems you got a great deal. $650 cash is much better than a tax deduction, since the deduction would likely have not been over $2400.

I’ll remember this one for the future, since I drive my cars until it isn’t worth running them anymore. Thanks for the info.

2 Laura 07.16.07 at 8:07 am

Last year I donated my junker to kars 4 kids. I ended up not getting a tax deduction because I didn’t bring the right paper with me to the tax office. It doesn’t matter though, I’m just glad to have it out of my yard! ;)

3 Gaming the Credit System 07.16.07 at 8:59 am

Remember, to get a tax deduction on charitable giving, you have to itemize your deductions, which usually only makes sense if you have a pretty big mortgage. This kind of pisses me off because charities play up the “tax deduction” aspect when a lot of their target audience won’t get that tax deduction.

4 ispf 07.16.07 at 10:22 am

“The sound of the quick $650 made me give up (sadly) any noble thoughts of donating the car to charity.”

I admire your decision to admit that instead of brushing it off under the carpet! Just letting you know that the honesty and frankness (besides the quirkyness, the quick wit and unique perspective) are what keep me coming back…

5 WH 07.17.07 at 4:28 am

Also, for all who are donating their cars, make sure you are signing the title over to the organization & keeping bill of sale and/or related paperwork…remember all those news reports about people getting tickets for cars they thought they had donated but were actually found abandoned!

6 Rob 08.27.07 at 11:27 am actually takes cars that have no titles or are abandoned too.

7 chevy 01.28.08 at 11:50 pm

why donate your car to charity when you can make a few bucks at,
remember your donations are limited for the year,you want give your junk cars away to a bunch of so called charity wards,they are all lies,they sell it and they make money with it,i worked for most of these liars i know,if you have a junk car find out who pays the most and get rid of it no keys no title,just fill out an affidafit and its gone.

who in there right mind would want to feed big governement,you get into an audit with these people they will hang you out to dry anyway… “”tax deductible my ass”"helping the children my foot” they are scammers.sell your junk car!!!

8 chevy 02.04.08 at 6:22 pm
when towing a junk car a driver has to be experienced,because you really do not know what has been done to the car,i had wheels fell off,torque converters fall out,
oil spills,you name it.just make sure you guys check evrything before departing

9 patrick 06.13.08 at 10:20 pm

I myself purchase junk cars in the Houston area. I pay top dollar for them. I offer most of the same things that the site above offer. I do not nor am I a charity.
Please call me for a quote 713-592-2576

10 chevygrl2009 08.24.09 at 8:45 am

i have a 1988 chevy caviler that is in good condition but has a busted motor. i want to sell it for scarp or even parts but i dont want to get ript off. it is an antique.

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I have a 1999 Honda Civic LX that’s in good condition but needs a engine maintenance. New parts put in 4-5 mths ago. For more info. please call 407-715-0121

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14 Bobby - Happy Cash For Junk Cars customer! 07.06.10 at 7:52 am

There are more scammers out there than good guys, trust me on that. I have sold a few junk cars and I would use this company again:

They connected me directly with a local junk car buyer and in like 2 hours, I had cash in my hand and that junker out of my back yard.

Thanks for you great reviews!

15 NatanH 08.17.10 at 4:29 pm

You will never find cheaper price then on big dealers only auctions such as adesa, copart, iaai, manheim etc.
You buy cars there at trade in value, you will NEVER NEVER NEVER find it cheaper then on dealers only auctions, it just imposible, I was a cars dealer for 15 years, I know what I am talking about. Salvage cars could the way to go if you wanna save some money.

Actually Salvage Cars is a good idea if you go to Auto Auction buy it and fix it, if you are trying to by already fixed car it could be a lot of problems.

16 tuhin005 06.06.12 at 12:15 pm

You are also advised to find a company that provides free pickup services, and naturally the company should pay the cash on the spot when they come to pick up your car. It is important because it will save you from having to worry about the mail of the check.

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i buy junk cars in houston, katy, cyprres texas. call at 281 995-8325.

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You can also try to find great cash offers for your vehicle.

20 junkcarbuyersorlando 03.08.13 at 11:58 pm

Great tips. Junk cars could bring you lots of money by making it a buy and sell business. What am I talking about? Well, you can buy junk cars from Salvage Reseller and then resell it to junk car buyers. Joining Salvage Reseller is a wise move because they won’t ask for additional fees.

21 markholo 05.20.13 at 5:00 am

Hi, This is good deal you get and through this many people can get a info that how to sell out your junk car in good deal. . .

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